The Best Ways to Avoid Back Pain

As the foundation of your body, your back works incredibly hard from the moment you get out of bed each morning. As a result of this enormous workload, your back is also more prone to injury and damage — which can have a serious impact on your ability to function normally.

At Mass Ave Chiropractic, Dr. Joe Kielur and our team believe that preventive practices are paramount in safeguarding your musculoskeletal health, which is why we’ve pulled together the following tips for avoiding back pain.

Lighten the load

One of the best things you can do for your back, and your overall health, is to shed any excess pounds you may be carrying. At the heart of your back is your spine, which is made of 33 vertebrae that are separated by 23 discs. When you add weight to your body, it can compress your spine and strain the supporting soft tissues. Added weight can also accelerate or create disc problems like degenerative disc disease and herniated discs.

In many cases, losing just 5-10% of your body weight can make a big difference in whether you develop back pain.

Stretch it out

If, like many, you spend most of your days in one position, either at a desk or on your feet, this sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your back. One of the best ways to offset the added strain is to stretch out your back frequently throughout the day.

Simple exercises such as touching your toes are often enough to do the trick, and you should set a reminder to stretch every hour or so.

Sit (or stand) up straight

Stretching every hour can go a long way toward preventing back pain, but how you spend the other 55 minutes is key, too. Whether you’re sitting or standing for hours on end, it’s important that you keep your spine as straight as possible.

When you’re seated, resist the urge to slump in your chair, and keep your back up against the back of the chair. As well, pull your shoulders back, keep your feet flat on the floor, and make sure your head is up.

If you spend hours on end on your feet, be sure to stand up tall, with your shoulders back and head high, to avoid straining certain areas of your back and neck.

Add strength

As we mentioned, your spine makes up the structural support in your back, but it hardly works alone. Surrounding your spine are large groups of muscles that play a critical role in supporting your back, so focusing some strengthening efforts in these areas will help prevent back pain.

Although it’s important to target the muscles that directly support your spine, the best way to help your back is to strengthen all of your core muscles, including your abdomen, to provide front-to-back support.

Back, or side, to sleep

The position in which you sleep at night can make a big difference in the health of your back. We suggest you avoid sleeping on your stomach and instead sleep on your back or side. The goal is to keep your spine in a neutral position to allow it to truly get a break. You should also avoid pillows that crank your head up too high — instead, you can take that same pillow and place it between your knees to keep your hips and spine aligned.

Regular chiropractic care

One of the best ways to avoid back pain is to ensure that your spine is aligned, which is precisely the goal of our chiropractic care here at our practice. Many of our patients seek our chiropractic care regularly as a preventive practice, rather than seeing us only when back pain develops.

To learn more about preventing back pain, please contact our office in Indianapolis, Indiana, to set up a consultation.

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